Tuesday September 13, 2011-You are not a player but rather a Mini-GM

For the pass week I have been struggling to understand and accept how the Fate System within the Dresden Files places a large amount of character control into the GM’s hands.  As I pour over the pages and consider various options, I am realizing that there are some checks and balances between the players and Game Master.  These mechanics allow a more communal story allowing for plenty of gray area for everyone to exert their interest within the story.  This week I am going to address them. 

 

A New Approach to Actual Play

I have come to believe that the best way to approach the Dresden Files RPG is that everyone is a GM; there is one major Game Master and everyone else are Mini-GMs.  Forget being a player; forget being spoon fed your environment; forget the narrow affect you have on everything within the story; from now on you have the meta-game perspective beyond the solitary action that a character has.   You are no longer a mere serf within the game; but rather a Duke who acknowledges a King.   The Fate System allows a mere player to rise up a level to share more control.  There are several reasons to make this approach.

The most sublime reason for this attitude is that there is hardly any distinction between NPCs actions and Players actions.  Anything a GM can do to a character can also be done to one of their characters.  There are no special stat blocks for just “monsters” nor are there any special moves or actions that a GM can do that a Player cannot do.   Essentially, every character within the story (NPC or PC) has their own goals and the same system to obtain those goals.   Miss Scarlett can initiate a scene where she wants to manipulate Dresden into favoring her, this would be done through placing an aspect on Harry—there is a risk with skill rolls; but she is creating the scene for that roll.  Likewise, Harry can try to do the same thing to Miss Scarlett.  Furthermore, the results are not dictated by the GM, but rather the winner with some agreement from the group.   

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